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Youth project impresses Deputy Mayor

Posted on 30 August 2017

Deputy Mayor of London, Joanne McCartney, visited Ovalhouse Theatre in Kennington to meet young Hyde residents at the Creative Youth summer school.

Creative Youth is an exciting youth participation and employment programme delivered by Ovalhouse in partnership ourselves and two other housing associations: L&Q and Metropolitan. Ovalhouse and the Hyde Foundation worked together in 2015 to build the partnerships and secure match-funding for the programme through Arts Council England’s Cultural Education Challenge.

The summer school delivers three youth-focused weeks of spoken word, dance and theatre using artist residencies, devised storytelling, exciting daily workshops and energetic games. All young artists will work towards an Arts Award (Bronze) accreditation and stage a performance in September at the main Ovalhouse Theatre. The Deputy Mayor visited the dance and drama workshops followed by a tour of the theatre, hosted by Aliyah, one of the programme’s Young Associates. Young Associates take part in a 12-month leadership development course at Ovalhouse where they gain invaluable professional experience and qualifications; and receive an annual bursary of £1,000 to support their participation.

The Deputy Mayor’s visit ended with a discussion with our partners UTurn, who deliver outreach youth work on our Kennington Park Estate which overlooks the theatre. This partnership aims to reach our most at-risk young residents, increasing their engagement with positive activities and with employment, education and training opportunities.

Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney said: “One of the best ways to build young people’s confidence and harness their creativity is through the arts. It was fantastic to meet everyone at Ovalhouse Theatre and see how the Creative Youth progamme, a great example of community partnership, is helping young Londoners to fulfil their potential.”

Sophie McKechnie, Hyde Foundation Projects Manager said: “Creative Youth is a great example of how cross sector collaboration can bring resources together to deliver a long term youth programme in the creative arts. This programme extends beyond the summer to ensure young people are fully supported to achieve their goals; I’m delighted that the Deputy Mayor could join us to see young Londoners creating positive futures for themselves.”